WORTHINGTON — After a two-year process hampered by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the city of Worthington will receive its designation as a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon community during a Saturday program on 10th Street in downtown Worthington.
Barb Staples, chairperson of the Worthington Area Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee, said the designation means the community is ready and willing to help families impacted when service members are called into action. Assistance can range from helping to fix a leaky roof to providing monetary assistance for rent or other bills. Staples said the goal is to help families fill in the gap however and whenever it is needed.
Members of the steering committee who worked on the application process for the designation include Staples, former and current Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce directors Darlene Macklin and Mike Daley, former Worthington City Clerk Janice Oberloh, Nobles County Veterans Services Officer Jim Dunn and volunteer Julie Foote.
Saturday’s ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the King Turkey Day stage, at the intersection of 10th Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Worthington.
Staples said the proclamation ceremony will include the presentation of a $1,500 donation from the Buffalo Ridge Leathernecks, to be used by the local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program as it aids families of military men and women called up to active duty.
As part of the program, the Worthington Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol will do a flyover at 11:40 a.m. Speakers include Nobles County Veterans Services Officer Jim Dunn, Worthington VFW Post 3958 representatives Simon Koster and Jim Hart, Lt. Col. Ryan Kelly of the Minnesota Army National Guard and Rachel Johnson, Yellow Ribbon Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Military Affairs for the National Guard Family Programs with the State of Minnesota. Jean Johnson will sing the National Anthem, and the Rev. John Stewart will lead attendees in prayer.